Engine room fire leaves Carnival ship dead in the water

One of Carnival Cruise Lines’ largest ships, the 113,000-ton, two-year-old Carnival Splendor, was floating “dead in the water” – without power or propulsion – yesterday after fire broke out in the engine room of the Mexican coast.

Carnival said 4466 people were aboard when the fire started: 3299 passengers and 1167 crew. No injuries to passengers or crew were reported but the ship was left without flushing toilets, air conditioning, hot meals or telephone services.

The fire started yesterday in the vessel’s aft (rear) engine room. It was extinguished, but only after flames triggered the shutdown of the ship’s main generators.

Carnival was trying to restore power last night. If successful, the ship would return to its home port of Long Beach, California, under its own power, the company said. “However, arrangements for tugboats have been made so that, in the event power is not restored, the ship will be returned to a port with tugboat assistance.”

Carnival Splendor was on the first leg of a seven-day Mexican Riviera cruise that began in Long Beach. The cruise will be cancelled. President and chief executive of Carnival Cruise Lines, Gerry Cahill, was quoted as saying that all guests would get a full refund, an extra complimentary cruise and reimbursement of their travel expenses. The ship’s normal itinerary includes stops in Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

Written by : William Sykes